Outage in St. Helens – July 1

Photo courtesy Columba River Fire & Rescue

July 2, 2015 – A semi truck crashed into a power pole on Old Portland Road in St. Helens on Tuesday night around 7:30 p.m. The pole carries both transmission and distribution lines that serve more than 4,100 PUD customers.

No outages occurred at the time of the crash, but PUD crews had to de-energize both the transmission and distribution lines to replace the pole. In order to limit the number of customers who would lose power, PUD crews worked from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. to re-route power from other areas. This reduced the number of customers affected to 1,500.

The line was de-energized at 1:27 a.m. Once it was out of service, a towing company removed the truck and then PUD crews replaced the power pole. Power was restored to all customers by 8:26 a.m.

“Replacing a broken 80-foot tall transmission pole in an emergency situation is a big job,” said PUD Engineering & Operations Manager Steve Hursh. “Our crews worked through the night, completed the work safely and did a great job.”